Run, Baby, Run! Training for NAPFA

“Jenn, I think AJ’s hamstring is tight.  You may have to work on this.  He will have some difficulty with frog style leg strokes.”

This was what AJ’s swim coach told me few weeks ago.  It just reinforced my observation that some parts of AJ’s muscles are not flexible enough. It set my alert button.

I have been training AJ on running at least 1.6km to cope with the National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) which will start in Primary 4.  The good news is:  NAPFA is now tested once in 2 years (i.e. Primary 4, Primary 6, Secondary 2, Seconday 4/5 & Junior College 2).

To my pleasant surprise, AJ has no problem running.
In fact, there was a day he ran 2km in 25 mins!

The National Physical Fitness Award Scheme (NAPFA) is a mandatory physical fitness test for primary & secondary schools. It involves:
Standing Broad Jump
Sit and Reach
Inclined Pull-ups (primary school)
Shuttle Run
1.6-km Walk-Run (primary school)

All five stations & the 1.6-km Walk-Run should be attempted on the same day, with a 2 to 5 minute rest period permitted between stations ('shiong'!).

Every student's performance is compared to a chart & are graded from A to F for each test item. An A grade constitutes excellent performance & an E grade constitutes barely passing. On the other hand, an F grade is an alternate term that the participant has failed that test item.

To achieve the Bronze Award, the student must attain:
At least an E grade performance in all 6 test items &
A total of 6 or more points

To achieve the Silver Award, the student must attain:
At least a D grade performance in all 6 test items &
A total of 15 or more points

To achieve the Gold Award, the student must attain:
At least a C grade performance in all 6 test items &
A total of 21 or more points

AJ has no major issue with the rest of the 5 tests except for sit & reach.  You got it?  Yes, it is the hamstring problem.  Too tight, as the swim coach has highlighted.  I know that exercises like wushu, dance, gymnas, yoga & pilates help in improving muscle flexibility.  & some children are just born super agile, but not my child.  So I approached the Internet teacher & Google directed me to this:

Web link
Ah, the answer to improving the flexibility of the lower body! 

Since I have just started getting him to do these exercises, I cannot say they have helped him significantly yet due to the short span of time.  But I did know that it has helped me significantly since I have started pilates 3 months ago. We do some of these stretching exercises in pilates too & my whole body is now a lot more flexible (I’m so lov’in it!)

I’m pretty sure AJ would have not issue with NAPFA in time to come, the key is Consistent Practice!

What about you?  Are you concern with the NAPFA test that your child(ren) will be going through soon?  Do these 6 tests on your child(ren) & you will have a better idea where are the areas you should help him/her/them work on.  Most importantly, continue to exercise & stretch regularly & your child(ren) should be fine.


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